VIA Motors International announced a strategic partnership and joint venture with Chinese company Zhejiang Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicle Co.
News comes years after silence on progress of VIA Motors range-extended vehicles built using GM models as a base for conversions.
The main idea for the JV - approved by Bob Lutz - is to co-develop a medium duty extended range electric truck for market launch in China, North America and Latin America.
The vehicles with VIA's proprietary vehicle software and systems control technology, and Volvo's engines, are to be on sale in 2019.
- Joint Venture will launch a line of green logistics commercial vehicles for sale and distribution in North and Latin America.
- VIA Motors will co-develop a green logistics medium duty truck for Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicles ("GCV") in China under an exclusive arrangement which includes a technology transfer of VIA software and control systems.
- As part of this arrangement VIA will be responsible for manufacturing, sales and distribution in North and Latin America.
It's probably the right and only way for VIA Motors at this stage, as business all on its own didn't make a splash.
We must note that the Zhejiang Geely Commercial Vehicle (GCV) is a subsidiary Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH), who also owns Geely Auto, Lynk & Co, Volvo Cars, Polestar, PROTON, Lotus, London Electric Vehicle Company, Yuan Cheng Auto, and Terrafugia.
Here is how VIA Motors describes itself now:
"VIA Motors International, Inc. develops and markets extended-range electric (eREV) and all electric (EV) power-train systems, incorporating industry leading VIA developed vehicle software and control systems technology, which provides clean energy solutions for most vehicle classes from light duty through Class 8.
VIA’s vehicle integration capability, at both production facilities in Utah and Mexico, provides a range of commercial vehicles to meet zero emissions requirements. VIA vehicles are marketed under the VTRUX™ brand and under the VIA power-train systems V-Drive™ brand."
Mr. Nathan Yu Ning, Zhejiang Geely Holding Vice President of International Business and Executive Advisor to the Board said:
"Geely selected VIA Motors due to the company's advanced commercial vehicle software and control systems technology, specifically developed to meet the demanding duty cycle and performance requirements of commercial vehicles."
"I believe that range extended hybrid drive systems are a leading technology for the next 5-10 years and the co-developed truck will utilize proven technology such as a Volvo engine for the range extender. VIA Motors provides technology plus an engineering and management team that can support GCV to accelerate to be global leading commercial vehicle company and assist the introduction of GCV Trucks into North and Latin America through our newly formed joint venture."
Peter Guile, CEO of VIA Motors commented:
"VIA Motors is honored to partner with Geely Commercial Vehicles. This agreement allows VIA to execute our strategy with the launch of an expanded portfolio of advanced drive systems and vehicles. We are excited to be working with our new global partners to electrify the future of the world’s working vehicles."
Bob Lutz, Chairman of VIA Motors and former Vice-Chairman of GM commented:
"Geely is the ideal strategic partner for VIA Motors, as the fastest growing global vehicle company, with a demonstrated commitment to the electrification of their portfolio of award winning vehicles. The alliance between Geely and VIA Motors combines technology, access to their industry leading suppliers, and a mutual entrepreneurial spirit dedicated to accelerating the global adoption of extended range electric commercial vehicles."